The national currency in Poland is Polish Zloty (PLN or ZL, used in Poland only). Zloty means the ‚golden’ one. In most of the places only PLN is acceptable, so make sure that travelling around the country you have always some Polish money with you. In some of the big shopping centres or the tourist places you can pay with Euro, but the exchange rate is usually higher. The notes are 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 PLN. The coins are: 5,2,1 PLN. 1 PLN equals 100 Grosz (like cents).

Credit Cards

Paying with the credit card is becoming very popular in Poland. In the hotels, shops, restaurants in the cities you can usually pay with the credit card. If you are in the countryside – buying local food or souvenirs in a small stall shop you will have to pay in cash rather. Buying the tickets to the museums it is always better to have some Polish money – most of the museums still do not accept the cards. But the net of ATM mashines is successfully developing, there is no problem with finding and using them. The most popular cards are: Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Maestro, Polcard.

Travellers’ Cheques

The Traveller’s cheques are not popular in Poland and you may find difficulties trying to use them. You can change them in the banks (but the operation takes up to several days), in some of the hotels or a tourist offices in the big cities. If possible avoid using it.

Money Exchange

You can exchange money in the banks or in the exchange offices (in Polish kantor) and most of the currencies are accepted. There are always plenty of them in the tourist places and in the city centres. As they are private ones it is always better to visit couple of them to compare the exchange rate and to choose the best one. To avoid misunderstanding or cheating (very rare, but can happen) make sure how much money you should be paid. Exchange offices in the hotels usually have higher rates. You can check the official exchange rates at


According to the law the prices must be displayed clearly with the name of the product and weight/quantity. VAT must be included in the price. The VAT law provides two levels of taxation: the basic rate 23% , the lower one 8%. The market price always includes the tax.


In Poland tips are not included in the price and they can be paid only in cash. Tipping is considered to be the appreciation of the good service, e.g in the restaurants it is usually about 10% of the price. Be careful! Saying thank you to the waiter while giving him money to pay for dinner you mean you don’t want a change… Pay money, give a tip and say thank you in the end to avoid misunderstanding.


Most of the shops are opened from Monday to Friday 10.00 – 6.00 PM or 11.00 Am till 7.00 PM, Saturdays 10.00 – 1.00 PM, on Sundays rather closed. However in the big cities and the tourist places most of the shops are opened all weekend till late afternoon. In the cities the big shopping centers are popular (usually called shopping gallery), they are opened 10.00 AM – 9.00 PM. The grocery shops’ general opening hours are Monday – Friday 07.00 AM– 7.00 PM. In Poland the huge shopping malls are relatively recent – there are still countless small shops – boutiques, that are very popular. Nearby the city center there are always the local markets (bazaar), where you can really observe the daily life!

Sizes, weights & measures

In Poland the continental system of sizes is used. For dresses, suits and coats the most common are: 36 (American 8, British 30) till 46 (American 18, British 40). For shoes: 36 (American 6, British 4,5) till 45 (American 10,5, British 10).

Poland uses metric system, whose basic units are: 1 meter (length – 1 m) and 1 kilogram (mass – 1 kg). Apart from the basic units there are also their derivatives, the most useful for you might be: 1 decagram (1 dag = 1/100 kg), and for the length: 1 kilometer (1 km).

The general way to measure temperature is by using the Celsius scale (centigrade, °C).
0 C = 273 K = 32 Far, 100 C= 373 K = 212 Far

Weight: 1 pound = 0.454 kg Length: 1 mile = 1.609 km, 1 foot = 0.3 m

Phone numbers

Dialing code: 0048 (Poland)
for cities e.g: 0048 22 (Warszawa), 0048 12 (Kraków), 0048 71 (Wrocław)
Emergency: 112 by mobile phone
Police: 997
Fire brigade: 998
Ambulance: 999
Emergency Road Service: 981
Time zone: GMT +1
Electricity: 230 Volt AC; 50Hz; round two-pin plugs

Travelling by car

In Poland the international road signs are respected, seat belts must be fastened by the drivers and the passengers, lights on all year round. Most of the Polish drivers do not respect the speed limits, be careful then. The Polish roads are successively improving – there are lots of road works and the investments in the road infrastructure. There are not many highways however, most of them look like the express roads. Some of the local roads are very bumpy and narrow – together with speed limit (e.g in a build up area) and some of the hindrances (e.g horse cart or a tractor in a countryside) it may make you get stuck in a place for a while… Because of the condition of the Polish roads and the road constructions while travelling around the country by car (excluding highways) your average speed is about 60 -70 km/h. Think of it planning how much time will it take it to get to your destination.